Plans for Student Union in progress
Want a place away from your dorm room to socialize and meet new people? Plans for a Student Union to be built on the South Quad of UIS by the fall of 2015 are underway.
Three years ago, a Student Union referendum was proposed. The proposal failed; however, last year a revised version of the referendum was proposed and passed with a 3:1 student approval ratio.
According to the Student Union webpage, the Student Union will be 50,000 to 57,500 square feet of area for students to congregate outside of the dorms, watch movies, play games and eat food. It would also be a place for student organizations to meet.
“There is unlimited potential to a building such as this. It would enhance student life and provide space that the University does not have,” said John Tienken, co-chair of the Student Union Committee. “It would also provide a third place for individuals to come together with one another.”
The proposed location of the Student Union would be right in the middle of campus on the South Quad. This location is equally accessible to people from the dorms, apartments, TRAC and UHB.
It has been proposed that within this gathering area there would be a coffee shop, convenience store, kitchen, lounge, meeting rooms, pub, restaurant, and outdoor gathering areas.
“My personal dream for the Student Union would be that it has a balcony overlooking the soccer field,” Tienken said.
By opening a building such as this, student organizations would be given another place to gather and more job opportunities would be present for students.
It has been estimated that it will cost around $20 to $23 million to build.
Right now, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Tim Barnett, as well as other individuals on the committee, are working on seeking out prospective donors for the project.
Since state funds cannot be used for the Student Union, the building’s existence would rely solely on community donations and student fees. These fees will begin once the Student Union is opened in 2015.
For students who are full-time undergraduates, it will cost $200 per semester. For students who are part-time undergraduates, $100 per semester. Then for graduate students, it will cost $25 per credit hour with a cap of eight hours.
“If it is similar to the Stars Lounge, providing an area to congregate outside of the dorms, then the amount of money to pay for the extra facility would be a miniscule amount compared to the overall tuition already,” said Cody Kostovski, freshman psychology and law double major.
About two weeks ago there were a number of architects on campus submitting proposals for the design of the building. They are in the process of being evaluated by the committee and other campus approval committees.
For more information on this topic, contact the co-chairs of the committee John Tienken or Tim Barnett or visit the Student Union’s webpage at www.uis.edu/studentunion.